In many ways, Amy Schumer’s career is an ideal example for the idea of meteoric comedy celebrity in general. Now, it’s fully unfair to put that on one performer, but it’s something that says more about how the industry treats bona fide stars when they come around. She has dramatically blown up multiple times, faced some kind of backlash or controversy, and blown up again, reinventing herself while doubling down about what was so distinctive about her in the first place. Heck, she just got nominated for a Tony Award.
As a result, however, people tend to want to project onto Amy Schumer what they feel someone with her level of success should be doing instead. Or, they expect each new Schumer “thing” to be part of a consistent statement piece.
Basically, Growing, her new Netflix special which largely focuses on her experience with a pregnancy that is very much not over but is very much about to be, might become a lightning rod when it doesn’t need to be. Schumer, possibly the steeliest and most unflappable comedian working today, probably doesn’t care about this possibility, and Growing reflects that confidence.
Schumer seems to embrace the fact that she’s still in the middle of her pregnancy and is sticking with her gut responses to the problems she’s confronted with. For any women in the audience who enjoyed being pregnant and thought it was easy, Schumer hopes your car “Chappaquiddicks” into a lake, and she has a conflicted reaction upon realizing that paparazzi didn’t recognize that she was pregnant until well into her second trimester. She hops back and forth between her pregnancy and the secondary themes of the show nimbly, addressing her arrest while protesting the Kavanaugh hearings before revealing that her biggest concern was getting really hungry while pregnant and in jail.
It’s a special that goes down very easy—a brisk sixty minutes that’s a nice antidote to the bloatedness that hinders a lot of Netflix specials that get a little too excited. It also basically eschews the rock star comedian treatment that can get a little exhausting and rob the special of its intimacy. Schumer is letting her audience in, and giving them the chance to watch her while thoroughly in her stride.
Growing is now streaming on Netflix.
Graham Techler is a New York-based writer and comedian. You’d be doing him a real solid by following him on Twitter @gr8h8m_t3chl3r or on Instagram @obvious_new_yorker. A real solid.